Lightspeed choices up Moritz Baier-Lentz to guide sport investments

Lightspeed, a challenge company with $18 billion below control, has employed Moritz Baier-Lentz as its newest spouse to guide the company’s gaming observe.

Baier-Lentz is becoming a member of the VC company’s shopper workforce as a spouse to guide Lightspeed’s gaming observe and make bigger the company’s presence in Los Angeles, the place he’s lately based totally. He’s going to lead investments in gaming, sport studios, platforms, and applied sciences.

The transfer underscores a better pastime in sport making an investment at a time when gaming is outgrowing different classes of leisure and it’s making its mark on tradition (as evidenced via Sunday’s release of The Final of Us tv display on HBO).

“It’s obviously a vote of self belief for the beauty of the gaming trade,” Baier-Lentz mentioned. “Lightspeed is interested by gaming. This can be a company effort with a core workforce and prolonged enhance individuals.”

The corporate will assist the startups it price range with advertising and marketing, skill acquisition and different duties.

Lightspeed companions like Jeremy Liew had been making an investment for greater than 15 years of making an investment in gaming, from early commitments and successes with Kongregate and Playdom, to more moderen partnerships with sport studios and adjoining platform and generation corporations together with Epic Video games, Tripledot Studios, and Balance AI.

Nicole Quinn, basic spouse at Lightspeed, mentioned in a publish she has identified Baier-Lentz since 2014, and maximum lately, labored in combination on our joint funding in Methodical Video games.

“What stood out in our conversations with most of the outstanding founders he’s up to now partnered with—and who’ve been main the introduction of common video games like Fortnite, Name of Responsibility, League of Legends, Apex, Overwatch, Valorant, StarCraft II, and Warcraft III—is their appreciation for Moritz’s experience, community, and incessant enhance in his position as investor, board member, and pal,” Quinn mentioned.


Lightspeed’s gaming-related investments.

Baier-Lentz’s has a singular background on the intersection of gaming and finance, Quinn mentioned. Rising up in rural Germany, he has been a lifelong gamer and spent nearly all of his teenage years competitively enjoying Snow fall’s Diablo II, culminating in a world No. 1 score amongst 13 million avid gamers in 2003, and—roughly twenty years sooner than non-fungible tokens (NFTs) entered the mainstream—buying and selling the virtual swords and armors that he earned in-game to have enough money his tuition at Stanford Trade Faculty.

Baier-Lentz went directly to turn out to be a vp at Goldman Sachs, the place he constructed and co-led the
company’s international gaming observe. All through his tenure, he recommended most of the international’s main gaming and generation corporations throughout PC, console, and cellular platforms similar to Google, Meta, Microsoft, Activision, Digital Arts, and Take-Two on over $300 billion in transaction quantity throughout over 40 M&A, IPO, VC, and different strategic transactions—together with Dell’s $67 billion acquisition of EMC and IBM’s $34 billion acquire of Pink Hat.

For the ultimate 3 years, Lightspeed interacted with Moritz in his position as spouse and control workforce member at Bitkraft Ventures, Quinn mentioned. Along with the founders, he scaled the company to turn out to be probably the most lively gaming VC and lead investor of 2020, 2021, and 2022.

At Bitkraft, he led most of the price range’ marquee offers together with Inworld AI, Theorycraft Video games, Horizon Blockchain Video games (his most effective blockchain gaming funding), Raid Base, Lightforge Video games, and Tripp, amongst others.

Like a online game, Moritz is in consistent seek for the following problem. This comprises his
participation in ultra-distance races, together with the 251-kilometer lengthy, self-sufficient “Marathon des
Sables” during the Moroccan Sahara.

Lightspeed’s different gaming companions come with Paul Murphy, for sport studios and platforms, and Shan Shan, for expansion gaming. A prior gaming spouse was once Amy Wu, who went on to go gaming at FTX.

Curiously, gaming spouse James Gwertzman mentioned the day past he was once leaving A16z, a distinguished challenge fund that raised $600 million to put money into gaming.

The issues to return

Baier-Lentz mentioned Lightspeed’s sport investments will center of attention on sport studios with just right sport design, skilled groups, proficient sport designers, a transparent working out of the target audience and a sensible thesis.

“Any worth in gaming, no less than for sport studios, stems from growing long-lasting, sustainable, preserving and attractive reports,” Baier-Lentz mentioned. “If you happen to come to me with a Web3 sport, or blockchain sport, which is indisputably integrated in our funding scope, I can before everything review it as a sport. And we will be able to discuss whether or not blockchain is used or now not as a way of worth distribution or attractive the group.”

Whilst gaming is hitting a trough like each and every different sport trade now, Baier-Lentz believes that specializing in the basics of constructing amusing video games is how it’ll get better. He mentioned the investments will center of attention on sport studios and sport platforms (whether or not they’re social networks or shopper platforms). And he mentioned the fund will center of attention on sport generation, just like the underlying tech stack, sport engines, procedural introduction, generative AI, new varieties of 3-D introduction, cloud gaming, AR and VR, and extra. However the core can be sport studios, platforms, and sport tech.

“The piece this is blowing up maximum presently is generative visible AI,” he mentioned.

He additionally thinks there are fascinating corporations doing clever non-player characters and growing visually surprising landscapes. According to what he has learn, Baier-Lentz believes that Apple will pop out with some roughly combined truth software.

He famous that video games are more and more defining popular culture, in accordance with the luck of displays similar to The Final of Us on HBO.

“We see video games was motion pictures and displays as opposed to the opposite direction round. We see video games set in popular culture the entire solution to style,” he mentioned. “We see video games combine different offline and on-line actions, similar to buying groceries, concert events, and many others. And so there’s no reason in idea must now not proceed alongside the ones strains. That is simply digitization of existence and digitization of leisure.”

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